produced/written by G. Matthew Smith



EPISODE #93 (Wednesday, 2/27/02) click here for a printable version of this episode
Same Day
February, 1936 - Afternoon


THE STOKES MANSION - TERRACE

76 Mapleton WayJanet StokesAs Burt Lamont stepped through the French doors and out onto the terrace, he found a shivering and sobbing Janet standing quietly in the snow.  Her emotional appearance disturbed him greatly.

"J-Janet," he spoke up tentatively.  "Janet, are you all right?"  He paused for a moment for an answer, but none came.  "Janet, darling, please come inside.  It's freezing out here.  You're going to catch your death of cold."

"D-death," Janet Stokes muttered, almost as if she were talking to herself.

"Janet, please come inside."  He walked up behind her and wrapped his arms around her in an attempt to keep her warm.

"Oh, Burt!  The baby!"  She turned around to face him as icy tears streamed down her face.

"I know that the loss of Judith's baby has been difficult for your entire family," he said softly as he tried to be as vaguely understanding as possible.  "I mean, Judith can be difficult enough under normal circumstances.  This was just a horrible tragedy.  Of course, you---as loving and sympathetic as you can be---would have the most trouble dealing with such a terrible thing."

"No, Burt!" she spoke up, her voice cracking from emotion.  "The baby!"

"Darling, what...are you trying to say?"  He searched her eyes for some clue as to what was going on inside her head.  "What about the baby?"

"Your baby!" she sobbed, clearly in deep emotional pain.  "I remember!  It was your baby!"


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THE PAGE TURNER BOOKSTORE

The Page Turner Bookstore"Hello, Grace," Dane Manchester smiled as he walked up to the counter.  "I was hoping that you'd be working today."

"What do you want, Dane?" Grace Davis replied coolly as she kept her eyes focused on a stack of books she was sorting, refusing to even look at him.

"I just...wanted to see how you were doing."  He paused for a moment in hope that she would glance up at him.  "I know that your mother's passing has been very traumatic for you.  I've been...worried."

"I appreciate your concern," she muttered curtly, "but I'm dealing with things in my own way.  I'm trying to stay busy.  That includes working which you seem to want to keep me from.  Now, if you'll excuse me..."

"Grace, don't be like this," he sighed as he reached out and touched her lightly on the hand, finally drawing her attention.  "What happened that night between us was special.  It was a beautiful moment shared between two people who share an intense connection."

"It was a horrible, tragic mistake!" she snapped with fire in her eyes.  "You played upon my vulnerability due to my mother's condition!  I had no business being in that car with you!  I should have been out on the road walking to town to get Douglas so that we could have been with her when...when..."

Dane Manchester"Grace," Dane spoke softly, "don't do this to yourself.  Of course you feel some sense of guilt and remorse for giving into your feelings.  I admit that the timing was a little...inappropriate, but..."

"Inappropriate?" she spat angrily.  "My mother was lying on her deathbed!"

"Grace, there's no need to act like this," he said sternly in a hushed tone as he quickly glanced around the store to see if anyone had overheard her outburst.

"I must look really foolish to you, Dane."  Grace clinched her fists together underneath the counter in an attempt to hide her anger.  "I was naive and stupid to believe all of those wonderful things you've said to me.  I just should have listened to everyone who told me what a rotten creep you really are!"

"Grace, you don't mean that."  He reached across the counter and touched her gently on the arm, but she immediately yanked her arm away.

Grace Davis"I mean every word.  I was frightened and panicked and you took advantage of that just to feed your own ego!"  She paused to take several long, deep breaths to calm herself.  "I just want to forget that that night, and you, ever happened!"

"Oh, but you'll never be able to forget," he smiled coyly.  "A young girl can never forget her first crush.  It's a memory that stays with you forever."

Grace glared at him with fire in her eyes.  She didn't think she could ever detest anyone as much as she detested Dane at that moment.  His multitude of charms and flirtatious demeanor no longer mattered.  The spell had been broken and she could finally see him for who he was---a manipulative weasel.  She had never really mattered to him.  The only thing that he'd been truly interested in was the gluttonous feeding of his own ego.

Trevor CallisonSuddenly, the tense moment was interrupted by a new customer in the store.  More accurately, a new player in an already tense scene had arrived.

"Hi, Grace," Trevor Callison said with a smile as he strolled up to the counter.  He quickly noticed the seething looks being given to Dane and immediately realized that something was not quite right.  "Dane," he nodded politely.  His eyes moved from Grace to Dane and back again.  Something was most definitely wrong and he was more than a little curious as to what it might be.


THE STOKES MANSION - TERRACE

76 Mapleton Way"W-what did you say?" Burt asked nervously.  Surely he couldn't have heard her correctly.

"I know, Burt!" Janet cried.  "I know that the baby that Judith lost was your child!  I know that you were the father of her baby!"

"B-but...I....oh...." he stammered, unsure of how to react to the stunning announcement.  

He'd fought so hard and so long to shield her from the devastating truth.  He knew that Janet could still be quite fragile.  She'd been through so much tragedy and heartache and he loved her so much that the last thing that he ever wanted to do was hurt her.

"J-Janet, please...I..."  He struggled to find the right words, the right explanation.  

Should he assure her that she had misunderstood?  Should he try to explain away the truth with a horrible series of lies in order to spare her?  Finally, he realized that she needed to know the truth.  Although she might be rather delicate emotionally, she most definitely wasn't stupid.  Maybe it was finally time to come clean.

Burt Lamont"Oh, Janet, I'm so sorry," Burt sighed as he reached out for her and pulled her into his arms.  "I never...wanted you to find out like this."

"It's true, isn't it?" she muttered as she fought to choke back her tears.  "You and...my sister!  My own sister!"

"Janet, please listen to me," he begged as he pulled away from her and placed his hands firmly on her shoulders in an attempt to force her to hear him out.  "It was a long time ago.  It was before you and I ever met.  Even after we had met and fallen in love, I didn't even know that you two were sisters.  Remember?"

Remember?  Janet furrowed her brow slightly and bit her lip as she struggled to think about what he was saying.  He sounded as if she were supposed to already know about his relationship with Judith.  Did she know?  Was that one of the many things that was now nothing more than a hazy fog in her mind?

"It was in New York.  Our relationship ended badly and I left.  I never knew about the baby!"  His voice cracked slightly under the strain of the truth.  "It wasn't until...until after you and I had fallen in love that I even knew you two were sisters.  It was only then that I found out about the baby!  Remember, I didn't even know about you and Judith until that day out at the house."

That day?  What day?  Janet inhaled deeply as she tried to force herself to remember things that her mind had apparently decided were better off forgotten.  Did she know about his relationship with Judith?  Did she already know about the baby?

Janet Stokes"Oh, I don't know!" she cried, overcome with emotion and fear over the gapping holes in her mind.  "I...I..."

"Janet, I never wanted to hurt you.  You have to believe that," he sighed as he again pulled her into his arms.  "That's why I never told you.  I just...I just knew how difficult it would be for you to understand.  I knew that I'd have to tell you eventually, but then Judith lost the baby and...and I guess I thought that there wasn't any reason to dredge it all up.  But...you have to believe that if you ever did know the truth, I never wanted you to know like this---to overhear such a horrible revelation.  I should have...I should have told you myself.  You shouldn't have had to overhear it."

"But...I...."  Janet's voice trailed off as she blinked away her tears.  Her eyes began to glaze over and a confused look spread across her face.  "But I didn't overhear it."

"What?"  Burt pulled back and looked at her curiously.  "You didn't...overhear me and Judith talking inside?  You didn't overhear us talking about the baby?"

"N-no," she muttered, suddenly very afraid.  "I...I didn't overhear you.  I was...out here."

"But I...don't understand."  He lifted his hand to gently rub his forehead as he thought.  "If you didn't...find out from overhearing our conversation, then...how did you know?"

"I...I..."  Janet took a deep breath as a sense of internal panic began to set it.  "I don't know!  I don't know how I know!  I just...know."